/ Snowdon 4x4 Drive Jailed for 22 Months

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Billy the fish - on 18 Jan 2013
Rightly or wrongly, I disagree with green-laning because of the damage it does. However, based on the limited info given, the sentencing is extreme and I feel sorry for the bloke. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-21087633
John_Hat - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

Agree, but by the looks of the limited information in the article, it looks like the sentence is actually to discourage anyone else from trying and for being really, really irritating to the Judge and stupid.

I've not much doubt that if he turned up at court (as opposed to sending the Judge an eamil saying he was going to commit suicide sparking a manhunt by the emergency services for him) and stated that he was really really sorry, don't know what got into him, accepts really stupid, etc, he'd have got substantially less.
itsThere on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: was that the guy that left his car stuck up there
muppetfilter - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to itsThere:
> (In reply to Billy the fish) was that the guy that left his car stuck up there

....TWICE
Ridge - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
It does seem excessive, getting pissed and mowing down a bus queue is unlikely to get you 22 months.
ledifer on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Ridge:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
> It does seem excessive, getting pissed and mowing down a bus queue is unlikely to get you 22 months.

GOURANGA!
cuppatea on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

Reckon the judge was wearing red socks and a bobble hat under his wig?

Or maybe hehates Clarkson and wanted to dissuade copycats
dissonance - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to Ridge:

not turning up to the court would increase the sentence though.
That plus it was two different offences for the rest.
Loughan - on 18 Jan 2013
In reply to cuppatea: I heard the judge voted on the honister zip wire...
In more tragic news. Man fined 35 & 3 points on licence for hitting a cyclist who died from the collision
http://road.cc/content/news/73826-taxi-driver-fined-35-3-points-his-licence-after-cyclist-killed-co...
balmybaldwin - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Loughan:
> (In reply to cuppatea) I heard the judge voted on the honister zip wire...
> In more tragic news. Man fined 35 & 3 points on licence for hitting a cyclist who died from the collision
> http://road.cc/content/news/73826-taxi-driver-fined-35-3-points-his-licence-after-cyclist-killed-co...

That is appalling, how can continueing to drive 90meters with a wounded cyclist be considered careless rather than murderous or at the least dangerous, and 35 + 3points - you get more for parking on zigzags ffs
boje on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
I read the article twice and it seems that nobody was hurt or even threatened. The guy is obviously a complete pratt, ignoramus and redneck but a jail sentence of 22 months is absurd.
Best of luck on your appeal.
Ridge - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to boje:
Ah, but he irritated the judge, which is a far more heinous crime in the eyes of the law than killing a pleb on a bicycle.
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

He ought to have been given life for having bought a Frontera: those things are the crappest 4x4s in history.
In reply to Billy the fish: By that measure, you should get life for driving over Hardknott and Wrynose passes...
butteredfrog - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to boje:

I met the guy on, suprise suprise, the top of Snowdon last year. Wouldn't call him a redneck, just a bit eccentric/lonely/strange. He was stood on the summit cairn holding the camera for anyone who wanted their photo taken. He was telling his story to anyone who would listen.
a lakeland climber on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Submit to Gravity:
> (In reply to Billy the fish) By that measure, you should get life for driving over Hardknott and Wrynose passes...

The way most off-comers drive in the Lakes that's too lenient :-)

The guy in question does seem a complete prat but the sentence does seem a bit harsh (understatement). Grough magazine have a piece on this and Llanberis MRT got called out unnecessarily because of his "suicide" note. The guy seems to have little concept of how his actions cause great inconvenience to others.

I don't follow the off-roading forums but presumably they aren't too pleased with him either, after all, he is the very type of driver they say they aren't.

ALC
Darren Jackson - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to a lakeland climber:

A more fitting sentence would be to have him do 250 hours community service, sitting in jams on the M25.
butteredfrog - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

The impression I got from talking to him, was that the first attempt was to gain some quedos/fit in down the local pub. The second attempt was probably as a result of a bit of bar-room barracking that he had'nt made it to the summit on his first go.He seemed very stressed about the court case.
Personaly I felt a bit sorry for him and he seems to have been treated very harshly. The judges comments about endangering lives (by which I assume he means Snowdon railway passengers), is a bit farfetched. Its hardly an express!

timjones - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
> Rightly or wrongly, I disagree with green-laning because of the damage it does. However, based on the limited info given, the sentencing is extreme and I feel sorry for the bloke. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-21087633

Interesting.

Were there any witnesses? Surely dangerous driving is about how you drive rather than where you drive?

Either way the sentence seems exceedingly harsh given that there was no accident and nobody was inured!
timjones - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Darren Jackson:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
>
> He ought to have been given life for having bought a Frontera: those things are the crappest 4x4s in history.

They can't be that bad, this one seems to have made it to the summit of Snowdon twice. I doubt that any of the current crop of repmobile 4x4 wannabe estates could manage it once :-)
Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
No sympathy for the idiot in Wales, but utterly speechless at the Solihull case
Mike Peacock on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to dissonance:
> (In reply to Ridge)
>
> not turning up to the court would increase the sentence though.
> That plus it was two different offences for the rest.

Plus:

"A man resembling Williams was also captured on CCTV in the early hours of the first trial day on Wednesday, sticking a note to the window of the court buildings.

It read: "Can't catch me, try to catch me if you can"."
cuppatea on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

To me it sounds like the fella needs some help as well as some punishment.
The sentence does seem a bit harsh.
Simon4 - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> utterly speechless at the Solihull case

That really is beyond belief. No harsher than for going 35 mph in a 30 zone.
timjones - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Simon4:
> (In reply to Chris the Tall)
>
> [...]
>
> That really is beyond belief. No harsher than for going 35 mph in a 30 zone.

The Solihull report is long on emotion and short on fact. It's hard to judge the rights and wrongs of the sentence without knowing some real facts on how the accident happened.
loopyone on 19 Jan 2013 - host217-42-138-168.range217-42.btcentralplus.com
In reply to Billy the fish: surely a fine large enough to put others off copying him would be enough. he's certainly no criminal.
Simon4 - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to timjones: Ordinarily I would agree that an emotional and possibly ill-informed reaction to a court judgement is not appropriate, but it is almost impossible to see how this can be justified.
balmybaldwin - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to Simon4)
> [...]
>
> The Solihull report is long on emotion and short on fact. It's hard to judge the rights and wrongs of the sentence without knowing some real facts on how the accident happened.

There are facts. The driver drove 90 meters beyond the point of the accident with a injured cyclist on his bonnet. The cyclist died. The driver was only charged with driving withou due care. At the very least the charge should have been death by careless driving. (see the cps guidelines)

Its astonishing that the inquest has not yet occurred yet the driver has already been virtually let off.
off-duty - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
>
> There are facts. The driver drove 90 meters beyond the point of the accident with a injured cyclist on his bonnet. The cyclist died. The driver was only charged with driving withou due care. At the very least the charge should have been death by careless driving. (see the cps guidelines)
>
> Its astonishing that the inquest has not yet occurred yet the driver has already been virtually let off.

The reported fact is that the CPS were unable to establish if the cause of death was the collision or the subsequent 90m drive. That would suggest that possibly the initial collision either was not, or could not be proved to be the fault of the driver of the car.
So you can't prove that careless driving caused the crash and you can't prove that careless driving caused the death. All you can prove is that he drove carelessly for 90m - an offence for which he pled guilty.
And to be brutally honest - if it was not established how that the initial collision was the drivers fault he might even have had a defence to any charge relating to his post collision driving.
timjones - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
>
> There are facts. The driver drove 90 meters beyond the point of the accident with a injured cyclist on his bonnet. The cyclist died. The driver was only charged with driving withou due care. At the very least the charge should have been death by careless driving. (see the cps guidelines)
>

I'd suggest that there is an initial cause, what the deferment does in shock immediately after the collision and then what they do beyond that. The report includes precious little info on any of these factors. There is little point in expressing public outrage without knowing any facts about the events before and after the accident IMO.

ads.ukclimbing.com
John_Hat - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to balmybaldwin:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
> >
> Its astonishing that the inquest has not yet occurred yet the driver has already been virtually let off.

Given that the Magistrates are presumably not idiots, and didn't even impose the maximum sentence for the charge that was levied, then it would suggest that the initial collision might not have actually been the drivers fault.

Obviously the article heavily suggests that it was the drivers fault, but it is on a cycling website, and as we know from UKC, if a cyclist fell from the sky and landed on a car it would probably be judged by the UKC cyclists to be the driver's fault for allowing his car to exist.

The only thing that does make me wonder is that I've had experience of a magistrates court after a road traffic accident, and as the magistrate totally ignored the engineer's report which proved beyond doubt that it was the other drivers fault and believed the bare-faced lies of the other driver, possibly my statement that "the magistrates are presumably not idiots" need taking with a pinch of salt.
MJ - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to John_Hat:

if a cyclist fell from the sky and landed on a car it would probably be judged by the UKC cyclists to be the driver's fault for allowing his car to exist.

Burn the Heretic!
mypyrex - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to Billy the fish)
> [...]
>
> Interesting.
>
> Were there any witnesses? Surely dangerous driving is about how you drive rather than where you drive?
>
Also I would have thought that a charge of dangerous driving would only apply on a public road.

"This offence is created by section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as substituted by section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1991[1]):

A person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence."

Since Snowdon is effectively private property it surely cannot be considered a "road or other public place"

timjones - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to mypyrex:
> (In reply to timjones)
> [...]
> Also I would have thought that a charge of dangerous driving would only apply on a public road.
>
> "This offence is created by section 2 of the Road Traffic Act 1988 (as substituted by section 1 of the Road Traffic Act 1991[1]):
>
> A person who drives a mechanically propelled vehicle dangerously on a road or other public place is guilty of an offence."
>
> Since Snowdon is effectively private property it surely cannot be considered a "road or other public place"

I may be wrong but I think that the fact that the public have access is enough for it to be considered a public place in terms of driving offences. I know that the fact that we have public footpaths on the farm has an impact on the level of insurance that I am required to hold on vehicles that only I drive.

Chris the Tall - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to off-duty:
> (In reply to balmybaldwin)
> [...]
>
> The reported fact is that the CPS were unable to establish if the cause of death was the collision or the subsequent 90m drive. That would suggest that possibly the initial collision either was not, or could not be proved to be the fault of the driver of the car.
> So you can't prove that careless driving caused the crash and you can't prove that careless driving caused the death. All you can prove is that he drove carelessly for 90m - an offence for which he pled guilty.
> And to be brutally honest - if it was not established how that the initial collision was the drivers fault he might even have had a defence to any charge relating to his post collision driving.

Understand the point you are making, but at the very least it does seem yet another example of the CPS being too keen not to peruse cases in which cyclists are injured or killed.

Yes the reporting is poor, again an issue, but nonetheless we do know that the driver drove on for 90m following the collision before crashing.. That's almost the typical stopping distance when travelling at 70mph, or 4 times that at 30mph. Even if the initial collision was entirely the cyclists fault, this is clear evidence of dangerous driving.

The message is clear, if you a hit a cyclist, make sure you finish them off.
Sarah G on 19 Jan 2013
the driver drove on for 90m following the collision before crashing..

Has anyone considered the possibility that the driver didn't actually "drive" on for a further 90 m but was shocked and found it difficult to stop, what with suddenly having a chap on his bonnet? And no, we don't even know what led up to the cyclist and car colliding, and those circumstances may well have caused the car driver to fail to stop with alacrity.
Jacob Ram - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:
The sentence is ridiculous and a burden on tax payers .
Should have got community service,confiscation of vehicle and psychiatric assistance in my opinion.
Aret - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to timjones:
> (In reply to mypyrex)
> [...]
>
> I may be wrong but I think that the fact that the public have access is enough for it to be considered a public place in terms of driving offences. I know that the fact that we have public footpaths on the farm has an impact on the level of insurance that I am required to hold on vehicles that only I drive.

That's correct - a public place is a place to which the public have access. A supermarket car park is privately owned but a public place for the purposes of the Road Traffic Act. An RAF base on the other hand is publicly owned, but probably not a public place.
Aret - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to timjones:
> Were there any witnesses? Surely dangerous driving is about how you drive rather than where you drive?
Could potentially be either. It's defines as driving which falls far below the standard expected of a competent, careful driver; furthermore it must be obvious to a competent careful driver that driving in such a manner would be dangerous.

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1988/52/section/2A

So would it be obvious to a competent, careful driver that driving up Snowdon is dangerous? Rhetorical question as I'm not sure, but the jury seem to have decided that it was.


dissonance - on 19 Jan 2013
In reply to Chris the Tall:

> The message is clear, if you a hit a cyclist, make sure you finish them off.

the TRL study back in 2009 would support that. There was a curious increase in the cyclist being entirely to blame when the cyclist wasnt around to give their side of the story.
Dax H - on 20 Jan 2013
In reply to Sarah G:
> the driver drove on for 90m following the collision before crashing..
>
> Has anyone considered the possibility that the driver didn't actually "drive" on for a further 90 m but was shocked and found it difficult to stop, what with suddenly having a chap on his bonnet? And no, we don't even know what led up to the cyclist and car colliding, and those circumstances may well have caused the car driver to fail to stop with alacrity.

why would anyone consider a reasonable argument.


Sarah G on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Dax H:
> (In reply to Sarah G)
> [...]
>
> why would anyone consider a reasonable argument.

Doh! <<slaps head with hand>> Of course. this is UKC!

Sxx

AlunP - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish:

and two other local cases:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-21034918

http://www.leaderlive.co.uk/news/118791/biker-rode-at-130mph-on-mold-bypass.aspx

22 months at 1,000 a week? A fine use of public money to lock up somebody less of a menace than a drunk driver.
SAF - on 21 Jan 2013
In reply to Billy the fish: 3 days earlier, also in north wales a man was given 14 months jail and only an 18 month ban for killing a cyclist out right... a former collegue of mine. The guy may have pleaded guilty at the last possible moment but his words and actions over the preceeding 11 months were anything but... both sentences are insulting and disgusting!!!

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